White House: Gruber’s Comments About O-Care Are ‘Simply Not True’

FILE - In this May 12, 2009, file photo Jonathan Gruber, professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, participates in a Capitol Hill hearing on the overhaul of the heath care system in Washing... FILE - In this May 12, 2009, file photo Jonathan Gruber, professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, participates in a Capitol Hill hearing on the overhaul of the heath care system in Washington. A supporter of the Affordable Care Act, Gruber says, "It’s so crazy to think that a society that has Social Security and Medicare would not find this (law) constitutional.” Gruber advised both the Obama administration and Massachusetts lawmakers as they developed the state mandate in the 2006 law that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney championed as governor. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) MORE LESS
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The White House is publicly distancing itself from MIT professor Jonathan Gruber’s comments on the legislative process behind Obamacare and its “lack of transparency,” which have been seized on by conservatives this week, saying that they are “simply not true.”

Gruber also invoked “the stupidity of the American voter” in 2013 comments unearthed last week about the Affordable Care Act. He has since said that he regretted the comments and spoke “inappropriately.”

“Transparency is a key goal of the ACA: consumers now have more access to information about their health insurance than ever before,” White House spokesperson Jessica Santillo said in a statement to TPM. “The Affordable Care Act was publicly debated over the course of 14 months, with dozens of Congressional hearings, and countless town halls, speeches, and debates.

“The tax credits in the law that help millions of middle class Americans afford coverage were no secret, and in fact were central to the legislation,” she continued. “Not only do we disagree with those comments, they’re simply not true.”

An administration official also noted to TPM that — while Gruber is often described as an “architect” of Obamacare because he was a key consultant to the administration and was heavily involved in developing the Massachusetts health reform law that served as a starting point for the ACA — “he did not work in the White House or play the same role in developing the Affordable Care Act.”

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  1. Avatar for mikec mikec says:

    I think there are a lot of people who want to delicately say Americans aren’t too bright when it comes to public policy (not at all curious about issues, they want something that is very easy to think about, and shut off any explanation that goes beyond that 10 second time limit), government economic issues (the state is not run anything like a family), and the voting public (this past election of voting Progressive for policies and for pols who won’t even consider voting for those policies) when only 1/3rd of those who took the time to register to vote even went to the polls to fill out a ballot. Its difficult to disagree with Gruber on that point.

  2. Avatar for sjk sjk says:

    He was describing voters in IA, KY, NC, AK, LA, FL, WI, KS…ahhh, fuckit. My fingers hurt.

  3. “Obamacare” is working here:

    Health insurance rates decline for 2015

    Key grafs:

    This year, less unpaid medical services and increased competition and transparency were the major factors that drove down prices, Insurance Commissioner Laura Cali said of the approved rates released today.

    In the past, when a patient was unable to pay for their health care because they weren’t insured or their insurance didn’t cover the services, the losses were passed on to the private insurance members, Cali said.

    However, with more people with insurance and more comprehensive coverage due to the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are reporting less uncompensated care. While some insurance companies didn’t factor this into their rate proposals, Cali said, the Oregon Insurance Division made sure all consumers benefited from it.

  4. Dylan Scott should read Brian Beutler’s post on this matter in The New Republic. Beutler used to write for TPM. He is a much better writer now.
    He pretty much confirms what the White House is saying.

  5. Avatar for chammy chammy says:

    The last thing I want is to read Brian Beutler. So magically his writing improved when he changed jobs - so does that mean he had instructions from his bosses @ TPM to write shit stories at TPM?

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